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“Big Secret Number One to writing fiction is that you have to make a mess. Many messes,” says instructor Steve Mitchel. “You have to throw truckloads of words down onto the page knowing full well that most of them will end up in the compost.”
In this five-week course, we’ll write in class and out (optionally, of course) without worrying about finished products. We’ll learn several fundamental elements of craft—characterization, dialogue, point of view, setting, and plot—reading stories by Charles Baxter, Alice Munro, Edward P. Jones, and others to guide us. In a supportive environment, we’ll share our work with each other (optionally, of course), discussing what resonates and why.
By the end of the five weeks, we’ll have all the tools we need to create stories. Along the way, we’ll never lose sight of the fact that most great fiction emerges from what Philip Roth calls “months of freewheeling play.”
About The Writing Salon's Remote Classes
Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, The Writing Salon is running all classes in a remote learning format. You will be able to participate in live class meetings via Zoom videoconference. To attend classes, you'll need a phone, tablet or computer and access to the internet. You can participate in the class from wherever you'd like, whether on your living room couch or in your office. Before your class meets, you'll receive an email from The Writing Salon with more information about Zoom and your remote class. If you have any questions about remote learning, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Mitchel was awarded the Crazyhorse Fiction Prize for his story, “Dog People.” His story “The Return of the Capellmeister” was a finalist for LitMag’s Virginia Woolf Award for Short Fiction. He earned a B.A. in political science from Stanford University, a J.D. from Northwestern University and an MFA in fiction writing from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. He’s led fiction writing workshops throughout the Bay Area and has taught legal writing to law students at Northwestern and U.C. Berkeley.
- Live Zoom Meeting: Monday, July 12, 6:30pm-9:00pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Monday, July 19, 6:30pm-9:00pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Monday, July 26, 6:30pm-9:00pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Monday, August 09, 6:30pm-9:00pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Monday, August 16, 6:30pm-9:00pm
Steve was terrific: gracious, insightful and balanced. I enjoyed reading stories closely for their literary merit and found the open, forgiving atmosphere encouraging.
The arc of the class was perfect for a beginning writer - I haven't written for fun in a long time and this class really was the highlight of my week. Having weekly classes made me accountable to actually start writing - and now I'm hooked. And the format was perfect for getting me the tools and motivation to get started.
Steve was great. I appreciated the structure of class - learning a concept, seeing it modeled in an author’s work, and then trying it on ourselves.